July 27, 2010
WACO, Texas - Ten home games, a neutral-site showdown with Gonzaga and a trip to Hawai`i highlight Baylor's non-conference men's basketball schedule released Tuesday. Seven teams among Baylor's 14-game non-conference slate appeared in either the NCAA Tournament or NIT last season, including possible Diamond Head Classic opponent and 2010 national runner-up Butler.
Butler, Florida State, Gonzaga and Morgan State participated in the 2010 NCAA Tournament, with the Butler Bulldogs falling to the Duke Blue Devils in the national championship game. Butler, the alma mater of eighth-year Baylor head coach Scott Drew, is one of seven potential opponents in December's Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic. Arizona State, Jackson State and Mississippi State (possible DHC opponent) also advanced to the postseason in 2010, competing in the NIT.
Including Baylor's eight Big 12 home games, the Bears will play a Ferrell Center record-tying 18 home contests, the most in the Drew era. Baylor played 18 home games at the Ferrell Center during the 1999-2000 season, finishing with an 11-7 home record. In 2009-10, the Bears won a facility-record 15 games.
"Over the last few years, we've had a great homecourt advantage in the Ferrell Center," Drew said. "And, with opening the regular season with seven straight at home, we hope to continue the great atmosphere that Baylor fans have provided for us at home.
"Our non-conference schedules the last two seasons have not only prepared us for a rigorous Big 12 slate, but the quality of those teams has helped our RPI and bolstered our postseason résumé."
Baylor, which is in the middle of one of the most successful runs in program history, is 73-34 over the last three seasons, which includes three consecutive 20-win seasons as well as three straight postseason appearances. Last season, the Bears won a school-record 28 games en route to their first Elite Eight appearance in the modern tournament era.
After a Nov. 4 exhibition game against Midwestern (Texas) State, which is coached by Baylor alums Grant McCasland (head coach) and Nelson Haggerty (assistant), the Bears open the regular season with seven consecutive home games. Baylor hosts the Grambling State Tigers on Nov. 12 before facing La Salle (Nov. 16), Jackson State (Nov. 18) and Lipscomb (Nov. 22) in a six-day span. Following a Nov. 29 matchup with Prairie View A&M, the Bears face Arizona State on Dec. 2 as part of the Big 12/Pac-10 Hardwood Series.
Thirteen days later, the Bears return to the court to face Bethune-Cookman on Dec. 15 before a neutral-site contest Dec. 18 against the Gonzaga Bulldogs at American Airlines Center in Dallas. It will mark the second regular-season neutral-site game Baylor has played at the AAC in the past four seasons as the Bears played the Arkansas Razorbacks in Jan. 2008. The Baylor-Gonzaga game will be part of a doubleheader at American Airlines Center with Texas A&M and Arkansas.
"Playing Gonzaga at American Airlines Center in Dallas is a great opportunity for both our team and our fan base," Drew said. "Our players are excited about playing in front of our fans at AAC. Last time we played in Dallas, it was a great atmosphere (2008 vs. Arkansas)."
Then, for the third consecutive season, Baylor will participate in an event sponsored by ESPN. The Bears will be one of eight teams participating at the Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic Dec. 22-25 in Honolulu, Hawai`i. Similar to the format of the 76 Classic (2008) and the Old Spice Classic (2009), all three Bears games will air on the ESPN family of networks. The complete Diamond Head Classic schedule will be announced at a later date.
"The ESPN-owned tournaments (76 Classic, Old Spice Classic) have provided a great amount of positive exposure for Baylor University," Drew said. "Once again, our players, staff and fans are thrilled to be a part of such an amazing event like the Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic."
Upon returning stateside, the Bears host Texas Southern (Jan. 2) and Morgan State (Jan. 4) before beginning Big 12 play on Jan. 8. Baylor will close out its non-conference schedule with a home contest Feb. 15 against NAIA member Wayland Baptist.
Baylor's 16-game Big 12 Conference slate will be announced at a later date. The Bears will play a home-and-home series against Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas, Texas A&M and Texas Tech, while also hosting Colorado, Kansas and Nebraska. BU will face Iowa State, Kansas State and Missouri on the road.
Tip-off times and television information for all Baylor non-conference games will be released later this summer. Fans interested in season tickets may call the Baylor Athletics Ticket Office at (254) 710-1000 for more information.
2010-11 BAYLOR MEN'S BASKETBALL NON-CONFERENCE SCHEDULE
|Nov. 4||MIDWESTERN STATE (Exhibition)||WACO, Texas|
|Nov. 12||GRAMBLING STATE||WACO, Texas|
|Nov. 16||LA SALLE||WACO, Texas|
|Nov. 18||JACKSON STATE||WACO, Texas|
|Nov. 22||LIPSCOMB||WACO, Texas|
||PRAIRIE VIEW A&M||WACO, Texas|
||ARIZONA STATE (Big 12/Pac-10 Hardwood Series)||WACO, Texas|
||vs. Gonzaga (American Airlines Center)||Dallas, Texas|
|Dec. 22-25||at Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic||Honolulu, Hawai`i|
|(Field: BAYLOR, Butler, Florida State, Hawai`i, Mississippi State, San Diego, Utah, Washington State)|
|Jan. 2||TEXAS SOUTHERN||WACO, Texas|
|Jan. 4||MORGAN STATE||WACO, Texas|
|Feb. 15||WAYLAND BAPTIST||WACO, Texas|